North Dakota filed a motion Friday with the Supreme Court to halt the implementation of President Obama's Clean Power Plan, calling it a "draconian mandate" that unfairly targets the state's energy resources.
North Dakota, the seat of the shale oil boom in the Midwest, says even though dozens of states filed for a stay earlier this week, the state is a unique case that must be considered separately.
A number of groups and states asked the high court to stay the Environmental Protection Agency's climate regulations, while a lower court weighs the merits of broader litigation to squash the far-reaching rule. North Dakota is the latest party to file a motion to stay the rule with Chief Justice John Roberts.
The Roughrider State, as it is sometimes known, argues that it is being unfairly targeted by the EPA rule, which requires it to reduce its emissions far more than most other states because of its use of naturally occurring lignite coal.
"EPA's draconian mandate, specific to North Dakota, requires a dramatic and immediate shift away from lignite coal-powered electric generating plants in favor of gas-powered plants or renewable sources," the motion from state Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem reads.
The Clean Power Plan, "in an affront to North Dakota's sovereign interests, imposes a particularly stringent compliance requirement on the state because of its development and use of its own lignite coal resources," the motion reads.
"EPA's rule requires North Dakota to reduce its carbon dioxide (CO2) emission rate by 44.9 percent, more than all but two other states and four times more than the emissions reduction EPA originally would have required for North Dakota in its proposed rule," Stenehjem writes.
On Capitol Hill, both Democratic and Republicans lawmakers from the state have raised that concern with the EPA. And it is one of the reasons senators from the state from both sides of the aisle oppose the regulation.
"I have long said, those rules need to acknowledge the reality that coal provides almost a third of our country's electricity," said Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp in October, after introducing a bipartisan resolution aimed at halting the Clean Power Plan.
"North Dakota needs flexible, feasible rules if we're going to find a realistic path forward to reduce emissions," she said.